O2L is committed to expanding access to high quality out-of-school time services to all families in Greater Houston, and we understand that many OST providers are challenged by everyday barriers that negatively impact programming attendance and retention, or youth engagement. To combat these barriers, O2L is excited to announce the first Barrier Buster Request for Proposal this fall 2019!

What is the Barrier Buster Request for Proposal?

The Barrier Buster Request for Proposal is a new opportunity for O2L to expand its’ reach and support of out-of-school-time. This funding opportunity aims to target barriers that directly impact youth attendance and retention, or youth engagement within OST programs.  OST providers can request up to $10,000 for the cycle in which they apply. Barrier Buster applications will be released in fall 2019, spring, and summer of 2020.

Who can apply?

Any free or fee-based OST provider with a 501c3 status (minimum of 2 years) and serving youth 5-18 years-old during out-of-school time hours. Awarded 2019-2020 Fall/Spring project partners can apply for a site that is not currently funded by Out 2 Learn. Barrier Buster grantees cannot reapply for remaining cycles in 2019-2020.

Public and charter schools running an OST program on their campus are eligible to apply for this grant. Schools are encouraged to work with their OST provider (if applicable) or their district’s grant department/ foundation. Contact Karen Beltran at KBeltran@unitedwayhouston.org and Tiffany Echevarria at TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org for questions.

What are qualifying Barrier Buster requests?

OST providers face all kinds of barriers that impact their ability to program daily. Barriers include but are not limited to transportation, competing priorities, parent/youth buy-in, incentivizing youth voice, or community awareness of youth programs. Barriers are unique to each community and population of students served. OST providers are the experts of their communities and best understand their own challenging barrier(s). There is no one-size fits all, you tell us the barrier true to your program, your students, and your community!

Please keep in mind, priority will be given to requests that use funds toward direct service.

Qualifying requests will:

  • Identify a clear barrier that is a recurring challenge for the OST provider during programming hours.
  • Provide a clear rational for how the barrier directly impacts youth attendance and retention, or youth engagement.
  • Describe how this barrier is unique to the program in the proposed community.
  • Provide a clear description for use of Barrier Buster funds requested to address the barrier(s) identified.
  • Requests should not exceed $10,000.

What are non-qualifying Barrier Buster requests?

  • Requests from for-profit OST providers.
  • Requests from Out 2 Learn 2019-2020 Fall/Spring funded sites.
  • Requests exceeding $10,000.

What are the Requirements?

  1. Application: Applicants must answer all application questions and submit a program budget. To review application questions, see here. Applications must be submitted on e-Cimpact.
  2. Project Budget: Please provide a minimum of one price quote for program purchases over $500. Project Budget should be specific and itemized:
    1. Program Revenue (all associated donations, i.e. cash and in-kind)
    1. Program Expenses (all items with associated costs; indicate which expenses will be paid for with O2L Barrier Buster funds.)
  3. Supporting Documents: Applicants must also submit an IRS 501(c)(3) designation letter (minimum of 2-year status), the most recently completed IRS Form 990 Income Tax Return (filed within the last 3 years), and a signed copy of the Anti-Terrorism Patriot Act form (also found within the resource center on e-Cimpact).
  4. e-Cimpact: All applications and supporting documents must be submitted on e-Cimpact. Please watch the pre-recorded Barrier Buster proposal conference linked in the timeline and next steps below. The URL link to e-Cimpact is required to create a login and to submit a Barrier Buster application. This link will be provided in the video. 

What is the Timeline?

Fall 2019
Barrier Buster Kick Off Monday, August 26, 2019
Application on e-Cimpact and Pre-Recorded Proposal Conference Go LiveMonday, September 16, 2019
Webinar Viewing Dates Monday, September 16, 2019 – Friday, September 27, 2019
Technical Assistance Call (optional)
Conference ID:
909-586-147 #
Thursday, September 19, 2019 (10:00 am-11:00 am)
Application Deadline (e-Cimpact submissions only) Thursday, September 26, 2019 (11:59 pm)
Award NoticesFriday, October 18, 2019
DisbursementsOn or by Friday, October 25, 2019
Grantee ReportWednesday, January 15, 2020 (by or before)

What are next steps?

  1. Interested applicants are encouraged to watch the pre-recorded Barrier Buster Proposal Conference. In this video, details pertaining to the funding process will be outlined along with step by step instructions for how to navigate the e-Cimpact portal. The e-Cimpact link to apply for this grant will be shared in the video as well. You can watch the pre-recorded proposal conference here
  2. To obtain a login for e-Cimpact or if you already have a login and need to obtain access to this application, please email e-Cimpact at e-Cimpact@unitedwayhouston.org for your request.
  3. Attend the upcoming Technical Assistance Call on Thursday, September 19, 2019

10:00 am-11:00 am (optional).

What are the grantee requirements?

If awarded Barrier Buster funds, grantees are expected to complete the following:

  1. Agree to, sign, and return the Service Provider Agreement via email to KBeltran@unitedwayhouston.org by the due date assigned.
  2. Use Barrier Buster funds in accordance with the Service Provider Agreement and set timeline.
  3. Submit Barrier Buster Grantee Report within 30 days of project completion, no later than January 15, 2020.


For question about the Barrier Buster process email Karen Beltran at KBeltran@unitedwayhouston.org and Tiffany Echevarria at TEchevarria@unitedwayhouston.org. For questions about e-Cimpact please email e-Cimpact@unitedwayhouston.org.